Q: I am a 43-year-old woman suffering from psoriasis on my scalp. Is there any Ayurveda remedy?

Psoriasis is related to an immune system problem in your body. If you have psoriasis, the T cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake, as if to heal a wound or to fight an infection. This immune response speeds up the lifecycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful. Researchers believe both genetics and environmental factors play a role. Infections, injuries, stress, Vitamin D deficiency, smoking are trigger factors of psoriasis.

[Shisha smoking and premature ageing of skin]

Brief, daily exposures to small amounts of sunlight may improve psoriasis, but intense sun exposure can worsen symptoms. Ayurveda has a classical approach to treat skin problems, which includes medications and external oils, medicated ghee followed by external therapies.

Favour: Bitter and leafy vegetables, thriphala, lean meats, snake gourd, yoga and meditation, water boiled with khadira (Acacia katechu), oil baths and moisturisers.

Reduce or avoid: Incompatible food, seafood, milk, sour and salty foods, yoghurt, horse gram, radishes, jaggery, oily foods, smoking, alcohol, sesame seeds, black gram, stress, harsh soaps, symptom-triggering foods.

Application of Ayurvedic oils such as Ayyappala keram, eladi keram for 30 minutes before shampoo wash reduces flakiness of psoriasis rashes. Consult an Ayurveda doctor for a prescription.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.